14 Effective Tips to Manage Your Study Time During Finals

Achieving Goals, Productivity
02/04/20 - Daniela McVicker
tips to manage study time

If you’re entering finals week, you’re probably more than a little stressed. Even if you’ve taken exams plenty of times, it’s still a nerve-wracking period as you want to excel and conquer your finals. To help you make sure you ace your exams, we’ve put together a list of effective tips to manage your study time during finals. These tips will not only make sure you get the most out of your studying, but it’ll also help with your focus, and give you the confidence to vanquish your exams from start to finish. Let’s dive right in, shall we? 

Here’s our list tips to manage your study time!

Know how to prioritize 

While it might be tempting to start studying for your favorite subjects first, it wouldn’t be an efficient way to utilize your time. The last thing you want is to be spending more time on the subjects that you like, instead of the ones that need it the most. To excel in your exams, you should be allocating time to subjects that you’re not as adept at.

If you’re better at chemistry than you are at math, for example, you’d want to give a bit more time to it first. Knowing how to prioritize your subjects is key – you don’t want to take away time from the subjects that need it most. 

get your priorities straight

Avoid cramming  

We’ve all been there before, it’s the day before the exam and you’re panicking because you’ve left studying at the very last minute. As you freak out, you try and shove the entire semester’s content into your brain in a span of 12-hours. Unsurprisingly, cramming is incredibly toxic, and you’re most likely going to forget all the information because you didn’t have the time to properly digest it.

Instead, start studying early. Take some time to organize your notes from class, and have an idea of what you understand and what you need to clarify. By taking time to digest the information, it’ll make studying for your exams a whole lot easier.

Have an action plan in place 

If you don’t have a proper plan in place, you’re probably going to get distracted and end up spending countless hours scrolling through social media or watching YouTube videos. Instead, try to have a detailed action plan in place so have a better idea of what you’d like to achieve during the day. 

Your action plan should consist of more than just studying for a certain subject. Instead, you should have a more detailed breakdown similar to the below: 

  • 8 am – 10 am: Read through chapters one to three of Marketing Essentials 
  • 10 am-10:15 am: Breakfast break 
  • 10:15 am – 11 am: Work on case studies in chapter two

Your action plan should also be achievable, you shouldn’t be trying to read an entire textbook in an hour. With this detailed plan in place, you’ll also feel accomplished after you’ve completed everything you’ve set out to do for the day. Completing everything on your list also means that you’re free to relax and enjoy the rest of the day without feeling guilty.

actions plan is a tips to manage study time

Do your practice tests 

Practice tests are there for a reason. Teachers have provided you with them to provide you with insight and tips as to how the actual exam is going to be like. Practicing these tests will get you ready for the types of questions that are going to be on the actual exam. 

You’ll also feel more confident as you’ll have a better idea of the test structure which will also help in reducing any test anxiety that you may have. 

Get rid of all distractions 

Let’s face it, in this technological age, distractions are aplenty. While you’re studying for your exam, you could also be checking your email, taking a look at social media, and playing on your phone. The truth is, multitasking doesn’t exactly help us in absorbing information. 

If you plan on heading to the library to study, leave your phone on silent mode and maybe even install an application such as Offtime or Moment to help block these social media apps for some time. Use the time that you have to focus on studying and remembering the material. You’ll absorb information so much better, and be way more efficient with your time. 

Remember to take breaks 

 We’re not talking about 30-minute breaks after studying for 5 minutes, we’re talking about a 5-minute break every hour. These breaks will give you a quick breather, and help you in retaining information in the long-run. Take a short walk around the area, do a quick stretch, or grab a snack. 

Use some study apps 

If you’re planning on using study apps, make sure that you’re not going to be distracted by social media or any other apps that you’ve got downloaded on your phone. There are, however, plenty of study apps that can be useful, and help you in optimizing your studying. While some of them are free, you may have to pay a small price for others. 

Some applications can help you in creating mind maps and flashcards, others can help you with planning your study time and let you know where you can maximize your efficiency. 

motivation for you when you're managing study time

Motivate yourself 

After countless days and hours of studying, it can be mentally draining and hard for you to remain in a mood to study. To keep going, you’ll need to motivate yourself and include some breaks that you can view as rewards. 

These rewards don’t have to be anything overly fancy, it can even be something as simple as reviewing two chapters of a certain subject before heading to the store and grabbing a quick ice cream. 

 While you shouldn’t be rewarding yourself every 5 minutes, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an occasional reward or two to keep your brain feeling fresh, and to snap you out of that studying haze. 

It’s all about nutrition 

The last thing you’d want is to fall ill during the exam period. To ensure that you’re in the best mental and physical state of mind, you’ll want to avoid munching on greasy unhealthy foods in the middle of the night. These foods are only going to make you feel sluggish, and you’re not going to be in the best form. 

Instead, make sure that you’re getting ample sleep, and incorporate fruits, vegetables, and nuts into your diet. With your physical health in tip-top shape, your mental health will be too. 

Create a study group 

Everyone studies differently, but sometimes a study group can help you focus and keep you motivated to study. Make plans with a couple of friends to review material studied in class, and work through practice questions together. Similar to studying alone, remember to take breaks and set all distractions aside.  

study groups make life easier

Learn what works best for you

There are numerous types of study styles, and you want to know what works best for you. While your friends might prefer creating colorful charts and mind maps, you might be more of an auditory or verbal learner. Work with the study style that works best for you, as it’ll be the most efficient use of your time and help you in absorbing the information that you need. 

Avoid burning out 

After a few constant days of studying, it’s easy to reach a burnout point. There are some ways that you can avoid burnout to make sure that your mind is fresh and ready to tackle the exam. While it might be tempting to study until the very last minute, for example, you’re going to want to put your notes down and take a breather. 

 If you can’t put those notes down, make sure that you’re not trying to learn new content. Instead, only utilize flashcards to review information. Remember to take things a little easier about 12-24 hours before your exam as the last thing you’d want is to burn out right before.

Prepare a finals pack 

As you’re busy studying for exams, it could get the best of you and you’d end up scrambling to get everything ready at the very last minute. To prevent that from happening, you’ll want to get a finals pack ready beforehand so all you’d have to do is grab and go. 

 Some items that you’d have in your finals pack include:  

  • Stationery such as pencils, pens, erasers 
  • A small calculator if you need it for a math class 
  • A couple of sheets of paper 
  • Some small snacks in case you get hungry 

 You can easily pack these items inside a ziplock bag and just grab it right before your exam. With your finals pack ready, you won’t have to worry about forgetting something at home and panicking on the actual day of the exam.


It’s normal to experience test anxiety before the exam. However, you don’t want it to hinder your concentration during an exam. There are plenty of ways to cope with test anxiety. Either than getting plenty of sleep and developing good study habits, you also want to stay both positive and relaxed. Trust that you’ve already done all the work and that you’re just going to go in and give your best.

it's important to breathe


There you have it, a couple of effective tips to help you manage your study time and get you prepared to nail those exams. Throughout this entire process, it’s important to stay calm, have sufficient rest, get proper nutrition, and stay adequately hydrated. Just remember, you’ve gotten through exams before, and you’ll definitely get through it again.

Newsletter signup - newsletter-signup page
Want to receive our thoughtfully crafted emails and updates to help you grow, challenge yourself and take action? Enter your details below. No spam, we promise!

Daniela McVicker

Daniela McVicker is a contributor to TopWritersReview. She has a master's degree in English Literature, and she is truly passionate about learning foreign languages and teaching. Daniela works with the students helping them to reveal the writing talent and find one true calling.

Latest Articles from Daniela McVicker
Related Articles

What are your professional goals? It’s a question that can make even the most seasoned professionals pause. Whether you’re just starting out or well into your career, setting professional goals is crucial. It’s about more than just climbing the corporate ladder. It’s worth taking the time to figure out your professional goals. This process is […]

Read More
woman looking at computer writing down notes in her journal

Let’s face it, no one ever teaches you how to navigate your career. At best, we get half-hearted questions like, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “Do you know what you’re going to do when you finish school?” From there, you can try to find a mentor or hope for […]

Read More
woman working and taking notes

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the prospect of making a career decision? Have you ever felt afraid that the wrong choice might impact your immediate future, long-term happiness, financial stability, and overall lifestyle? If so, you’re not alone. These feelings are common symptoms of a condition known as career paralysis—a state of feeling stuck […]

Read More